Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss #2) by Stephanie Perkins
When I’m in a reading slump, contemporaries are my go-to because they are light, fast, and easy reads. Lola fits that bill perfectly.
Lola is a high school junior who dreams of becoming a fashion designer, and for her New Year’s Resolution, resolved to not repeat an outfit throughout the course of the year. She wears wigs, thrift shop finds she transforms into something new, and isn’t afraid to be herself. Her boyfriend, Max, is the lead singer of a decently successful local band, and his mysteriousness and bad-boy vibes intoxicate her. But then there’s her old next-door neighbor, who just moved back to town.
Cricket is tall, skinny, and dresses well, and he and Lola had an almost fling a few years ago that didn’t end well. Who will Lola choose? Her current boyfriend or her first major crush?
B-T-Dubs, Cricket Bell totally reminded me of a guy I almost dated the summer after freshman year of college, who I’d completely forgotten about until I read the description of Cricket… kind of a throwback moment, and odd since Lola’s situation with Cricket was very similar to my own with my Cricket-lookalike. Weird. If nothing else, this Stephanie Perkins trio does a great job at relating hardcore to my life. Like, eerily so. DID YOU READ MY DIARIES/MIND, STEPHANIE PERKINS?
Lola is a typical YA love triangle where the quirky female protagonist is stuck between the bad boy and the boy next door, and she can’t figure out her true feelings.
It’s easily predictable, it relies heavily on tropes, but it was an enjoyable read. I like Lola and her unique fashion sense, though the “everyone is super special and gifted” thing was kind of annoying. Not everyone is a prodigy. Especially at 17. And from the same street. It’s not realistic.
I thought Lola’s “who am I really” could have been explored more, but the fact that Lola has two gay dads is amazing, even if I got tired of her “my mom is homeless and I’m ashamed!” schtick.
My favorite thing was the crossover with Anna and the French Kiss, as Anna and St. Claire were some of my favorites, and it was nice to see them again, if only in the background. I probably wouldn’t have picked this one up without that, if I’m honest, though I’m glad I did.